100th Community Bank caps off week of milestones
Australia’s 100th Community Bank® branch of Bendigo Bank opens tomorrow to culminate a week of milestones for “the people’s bank”.
As the Victorian coastal community of San Remo puts the finishing touches to its opening celebrations:
• Australia’s first locally owned Community Bank® company, Rupanyup/Minyip in the Victorian Wimmera, turns five-years-old today (Eds: 26 June).
• Total banking business in Community Banks topped $3 billion.
“To have all three milestones coincide in one week is sensational,” said Bendigo Bank’s general manager of Community Banking, Russell Jenkins.
“A hundred branches and three billion dollars in business is a ringing endorsement of the concept of a people’s bank.
“Community Bank® was a totally new and untested concept when Rupanyup and Minyip had the courage and the vision to join Bendigo Bank in this venture and I think it fair to say that no one expected it could come this far this quickly.”
Mr Jenkins said Bendigo expected further milestones to fall over the next few weeks.
“Sometime in July we will open the 250,000th Community Bank® account.
“And we have already seen $1.9 million in benefits flowing back to communities in the form of local funding and shareholder dividends. This will top two million soon and is growing quickly.
“That’s probably the most important milestone of the lot because it shows that Community Bank® is about much more than simply returning banking services – it has become a way in which communities can improve their economic and social prospects.
“This is borne out by the number of communities now joining the program which still have local banking but can see the benefits to be gained from operating their own bank branch.”
Mr Jenkins said demand across Australia remained strong and Bendigo expected to open a further 25 to 30 branches during 2003/04.
Branches100 (27 July 2003)
Branches now operate in every Australian State, plus ACT
Accounts250,000th account expected to open in July 2003
Australians have committed more than $3 billion of banking business to their Community Banks
(First billion took 36 months; second took 14 months; third took 10.)
Community Bank® has directly created more than 700 jobs
An independent study (LaTrobe University) showed a local Community Bank® added between 3% and 7% to the local economy, with a bigger boost to retail spending
Community benefitsCommunity Banks have already ploughed more than a million dollars back into their communities through grants, shareholder dividends and purchase of branches
44 branches now making sustainable monthly surpluses
ShareholdersMore than 30,000 Australians are now shareholders in their local Community Bank® company
DirectorsMore than 800 Australians are Directors of local Community Bank® companies
More than 2000 bank branches close across Australia, leaving many communities without a bank.